A Fun CTF-Like Malware

From a Twitter post by InQuest, we analyzed an interesting malware:

Encrypted MS Office Document, VBA, Windows Link File (LNK), OLE objects, Windows Help Files (CHM), PNG steganography and Powershell.

SHA256: 46AFA83E0B43FDB9062DD3E5FB7805997C432DD96F09DDF81F2162781DAAF834

The analysis should take about 15-20 minutes in Cerbero Suite.

Highly recommended!

SPOILER ALERT: The images below show all the steps of our analysis.

Malicious Windows Link with Embedded Microsoft Cabinet

You can find the original analysis for this malware at malwarebytes. As a bonus, in the video we show how to improve the static analysis of the final payload by resolving API calls.

This script converts the decrypted blob hashes into a call index → api name dictionary.

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from Pro.Core import *
from Pro.PE import *
from Pro.ccast import *

ror = lambda val, r_bits, max_bits: \
    ((val & (2**max_bits-1)) >> r_bits%max_bits) | \
    (val << (max_bits-(r_bits%max_bits)) & (2**max_bits-1))

def getAPIs(dllpath):
    apis = {}
    c = createContainerFromFile(dllpath)
    dll = PEObject()
    if not dll.Load(c):
        print("error: couldn't load dll")
        return apis
    ordbase = dll.ExportDirectory().Num("Base")
    functions = dll.ExportDirectoryFunctions()
    names = dll.ExportDirectoryNames()
    nameords = dll.ExportDirectoryNameOrdinals()
    n = functions.Count()
    it = functions.iterator()
    for x in range(n):
        func = it.next()
        ep = func.Num(0)
        if ep == 0:
        apiord = str(ordbase + x)
        n2 = nameords.Count()
        it2 = nameords.iterator()
        name_found = False
        for y in range(n2):
            no = it2.next()
            if no.Num(0) == x:
                name = names.At(y)
                offs = dll.RvaToOffset(name.Num(0))
                name, ret = dll.ReadUInt8String(offs, 500)
                apiname = name.decode("ascii")
                apis[apiname] = apiord
                apis[apiord] = apiname
                name_found = True
        if not name_found:
            apis[apiord] = apiord
    return apis
def hash(name):
    x = 0
    for c in name:
        x = ror(x, 0xD, 32)
        x += ord(c)
    x = ror(x, 0xD, 32)
    return x
def hashAPIs(apis):
    hapis = {}
    for i, name in apis.items():
        hapis[hash(name)] = name
    return hapis
def walkBlob():
    i = 0
    idxs = {}
    pos = 0
    while i < len(blob):
        e = blob.find(b"\x00", i)
        if i == e:
        s = blob[i:e].decode("ascii")
        i = e + 1
        if "." in s:
            dllname = s
            apis = getAPIs("C:\\Windows\\System32\\" + dllname)
            apis = hashAPIs(apis)
            x = dword(int(s))
            apiname = apis[x]
            idxs[pos] = apiname
            pos += 0x10
    return idxs
idxs = walkBlob()

This script uses the index dictionary from the previous script to comment register-based call instructions in the disassembly with the resolved API name.

idxs = {0: 'VirtualAlloc', 16: 'Sleep', 32: 'CreateThread', 48: 'CloseHandle', 64: 'ReadFile', 80: 'CreateFileA', 96: 'WriteFile', 112: 'GetFileSize', 128: 'lstrlenA', 144: 'lstrlenW', 160: 'lstrcpyA', 176: 'lstrcpyW', 192: 'lstrcatA', 208: 'lstrcatW', 224: 'lstrcmpA', 240: 'lstrcmpW', 256: 'VirtualFree', 272: 'WaitForSingleObject', 288: 'TerminateThread', 304: 'GetTickCount', 320: 'FormatMessageA', 336: 'GetLastError', 352: 'EnterCriticalSection', 368: 'LeaveCriticalSection', 384: 'InitializeCriticalSection', 400: 'DeleteCriticalSection', 416: 'LocalFree', 432: 'MultiByteToWideChar', 448: 'WideCharToMultiByte', 464: 'GetComputerNameW', 480: 'GetModuleFileNameW', 496: 'GetCurrentProcessId', 512: 'GetLocalTime', 528: 'QueryPerformanceFrequency', 544: 'QueryPerformanceCounter', 560: 'IsWow64Process', 576: 'GetCurrentProcess', 592: 'GetVersionExA', 608: 'GlobalFree', 624: 'VirtualFreeEx', 640: 'DuplicateHandle', 656: 'DebugBreak', 672: 'CreateEventW', 688: 'DeviceIoControl', 704: 'DeleteFileA', 720: 'GetTempPathA', 736: 'GetTempFileNameA', 752: 'SetErrorMode', 768: 'FreeLibrary', 784: 'RtlGetNtVersionNumbers', 800: 'RtlNtStatusToDosError', 816: 'RtlDecompressBuffer', 832: 'RtlCompressBuffer', 848: 'RtlGetCompressionWorkSpaceSize', 864: 'NtQuerySystemInformation', 880: 'NtQueryObject', 896: 'PeekMessageW', 912: 'GetMessageW', 928: 'PostThreadMessageW', 944: 'send', 960: 'recv', 976: 'closesocket', 992: 'WSAStartup', 1008: 'socket', 1024: 'bind', 1040: 'listen', 1056: 'accept', 1072: 'connect', 1088: 'WSACleanup', 1104: 'inet_addr', 1120: 'inet_ntoa', 1136: 'htons', 1152: 'getaddrinfo', 1168: 'freeaddrinfo', 1184: 'WSAAddressToStringA', 1200: 'setsockopt', 1216: 'getsockopt', 1232: 'recvfrom', 1248: 'sendto', 1264: 'shutdown', 1280: 'WSAGetLastError', 1296: 'select', 1312: 'getpeername', 1328: 'CryptAcquireContextW', 1344: 'CryptDestroyHash', 1360: 'CryptCreateHash', 1376: 'CryptHashData', 1392: 'CryptGetHashParam', 1408: 'CryptDeriveKey', 1424: 'CryptEncrypt', 1440: 'CryptDecrypt', 1456: 'GetUserNameW', 1472: 'UuidCreate', 1488: 'WinHttpGetIEProxyConfigForCurrentUser', 1504: 'WinHttpOpen', 1520: 'WinHttpGetProxyForUrl', 1536: 'WinHttpCloseHandle', 1552: 'WinHttpConnect', 1568: 'WinHttpOpenRequest', 1584: 'WinHttpAddRequestHeaders', 1600: 'WinHttpSendRequest', 1616: 'WinHttpWriteData', 1632: 'WinHttpQueryDataAvailable', 1648: 'WinHttpQueryOption', 1664: 'WinHttpReceiveResponse', 1680: 'WinHttpReadData', 1696: 'WinHttpSetOption', 1712: 'WinHttpSetCredentials', 1728: 'WinHttpQueryAuthSchemes', 1744: 'GetAdaptersInfo', 1760: 'CryptBinaryToStringA', 1776: 'CryptStringToBinaryA', 1792: 'StrStrIA', 1808: 'URLDownloadToFileA', 1824: 'memset', 1840: 'memmove', 1856: 'memcpy', 1872: 'memcmp', 1888: '_wcsicmp', 1904: 'time', 1920: 'strstr', 1936: 'atoi', 1952: '_itow', 1968: 'srand', 1984: 'rand', 2000: '_wcsnicmp', 2016: 'sprintf', 2032: 'printf'}

from Pro.UI import proContext
from Pro.Carbon import *
from Pro.capstone import *
import re

def commentAPIs():
    md = Cs(CS_ARCH_X86, CS_MODE_64)
    v = proContext().getCurrentView()
    ca = v.getCarbon()
    db = ca.getDB()
    e = caASEntry()
    e.end = 0
    while db.getNextASEntry(e.end, e):
        if e.type_id != CarbonType_I_x64:
        buf = ca.read(e.start, e.end - e.start)
        insns = md.disasm(buf, 0)
        i = next(insns, None)
        if i.mnemonic != "call":
        print(i.mnemonic, i.op_str)
        if i.op_str.find("rip") != -1:
        j = i.op_str.find("+ 0x")
        if j == -1:
        idx = int(i.op_str[j+2:-1], 16)
        if idx > 0x1000:
        apiname = idxs.get(idx, None)
        if not apiname:
        c = caComment()
        if db.getComment(e.start, c) and c.text:
        c.address = e.start
        c.text = apiname
        print("   ", apiname)
    # update the view

Windows Link Support

The next Profiler update, along with several new features, will also include preliminary support for the Windows Link files (also known as Shell Links). This format has been introduced with Windows 95 and is frequently taken into consideration in forensic analysis procedures to discover usage information about files and folders.

In the image below, a link file that opens the Cerbero homepage using Internet Explorer is being shown.

Windows Link Format